Stephanie Steinberg, wtop.com
WASHINGTON - Is McDonald's or Burger King better at giving drive thru customers exactly what they order? The answer: McDonald's.
QSR magazine - a trade publication that covers restaurant news - has conducted a Drive-Thru Performance Study the past 14 years to see how popular drive thrus, including McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Taco Bell and Chick-fil-A, perform on order accuracy, service time and customer service.
In the 2012 findings released Wednesday, Burger King had the lowest drive thru order accuracy rate at 83 percent, which is 6.7 percent lower than its rate last year. Chick-fil-A was the most accurate at 92.4 percent, followed by McDonald's at 90.9 percent, Taco Bell at 91.2 and Wendy's at 89.9 percent.
While Wendy's was among the least accurate drive thrus, the company topped the list in service speed - fulfilling orders in an average of 2 minutes 9 seconds. Burger King had the worst service time at an average of 3 minutes 21 seconds.
The magazine reports that Wendy's was the only chain to improve on service time since last year and points to complex menus as a reason why drive thru times have slowed down the past eight years.
Brian Baker, president of Ohio-based Insula Research which co-authored the study, says in the QSR article that slower service should not necessarily be a cause for concern.
"If you get any faster ... your consumer is going to start to feel rushed," he says.
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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)